At the home of their sister team Red Bull Racing, the Scuderia Toro Rosso team were hopeful of putting on a good show at the Austrian Grand Prix. The race started promisingly with Daniil Kvyat running in the top ten in the early stages, but both he and team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne failed to see the chequered flag due to mechanical issues at the Red Bull Ring.
Kvyat had done well to qualify a seasons best seventh and was on course for points when his rear suspension failed causing him to retire at the side of the track. He felt the updates to the car brought to Austria were working well and believed a strong result was lost.
“I’m obviously disappointed with how today turned out, especially because everything was working so well this weekend and it seemed like a promising race,” said Kvyat. “Our pace was strong, our updates and also tyre management worked well. The start was difficult, I lost a few positions but I managed to get a position back. From then on I was able to push hard and it looked like we could have a strong result.
“Around lap 26 I saw my rear right tyre blow up and I was forced to stop. I’m not quite sure what exactly happened, but we will now analyse everything closely and find out what the problem was today. On the positive side, we have made a solid step forward this weekend and I think it looks promising for the upcoming races, so I can’t wait to get to Silverstone where we will aim high again.”
Vergne never looked likely to challenge for points during the race, and eventually was forced to join his team-mate in retirement when his brakes failed in a large puff of smoke. It was his fifth retirement in eight races, with four of them being mechanical issues. Despite his brake issues and eventual retirement, Vergne believes the team are moving in the right direction.
“I have struggled with the brakes from the beginning of the race,” said Vergne. “It’s difficult to drive the car with such a considerable rear locking. It’s not good for tyre life and for the balance in general so it was really a tricky race. I was doing my best to finish it at least but in the end I just could not bring the car to the chequered flag.
“Problems happen, it’s a shame that they occurred here but the new aero package is working well and we have a good car to face the next Grand Prix in Silverstone. There are still a lot of races in front of us and I’m sure we are moving in the right direction for the rest of the season.”
Toro Rosso Team Principal Franz Tost was understandably disappointed after seeing a potential points finish disappear with Kvyat’s retirement. He did take some positives from Austria however, and was happy about how the car showed speed in qualifying, and he now wants the team to transfer that into race pace.
“Starting from seventh position and not finishing the race is quite disappointing,” said Tost. “We have to investigate the problem on Daniil’s rear right suspension, as well as the brake problem on Jean-Eric’s car. Generally speaking the car showed a solid performance in Qualifying and now we have work hard to transfer this also into a strong race result.
“It is a real shame that we were not able to do so here at the Red Bull Ring and in front of all the Red Bull family, but we are hopeful that we can come back stronger at the next race in Silverstone.”